Newcastle Festivals Share in $1.25 Million Funding Boost

Little Festival organiser Jacinta Fintan, Cr Carol Duncan, Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and Big Picture Fest organiser Katerina Skoumbas in front of murals created by artists Sophia Flegg, Mitch Revs and Tom Henderson during last year’s Big Picture Fest. Image: NCC

Newcastle’s arts scene has received a funding boost from Council to help bounce back from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Big Picture Fest is set to return to the city in 2022 after receiving a share of almost $800,000 from the City Centre and Darby Street Special Business Rate funding program, along with 15 other projects.

The inaugural Little Festival, which will see tiny art installations installed across the city, has also been named one of 59 projects to receive a share of $450,000 from Council’s Community Support and Infrastructure Grants program.

The funding is being spread across the city’s hardest hit industries, including the arts and cultural industries as well as live music.

“City of Newcastle’s financial support for Little Festival has been a crucial step in turning my little idea into a brave new festival,” Little Festival organiser Jacinta Fintan said.

“After 18 long months of the pandemic flat-lining the arts industry, it is really heartening to see bold and enterprising art funding underpin Newcastle’s arts recovery process.” 

Newcastle Food Month, Chalk the Walk Newcastle and a new project by Makers and Traders Newcastle have also received funding from the Special business Rates program, which uses funds collected from businesses across the city centre, Darby Street, Hamilton, Mayfield, New Lambton and Wallsend.